“Do Jihad till your last breath”.. The Rise Of Terrorism; an African Perspective. By Alfred Kinoti


“Do Jihad till your last breath”…..

Afghanistan has been the epicenter of competing foreign powers for a long time. Between 1839 and 1919, both the British Empire and the Soviet Union were ultimately unable to create a lasting presence in Afghanistan because they weren’t just fighting against the people who lived there but they were fighting against competing imperial interests in the strategically located region.

The first feeling of Jihad was felt when the British were invaded by the natives who believed they were fighting infidels(non-Muslims). The war was put in a Jihad context and after this there was rise of insurgency. Jihad could be an individuals struggle, the struggle to build a good Muslim society or a war of faith. It could take the form of Immigration, education, media and economic.

Afghanistan being an empty failed state, saw a theatre of war. Terrorist and violent extremist groups largely took root in this marginalized area, using local grievances to recruit young citizens and political islamists in vulnerable life situations, suffering for instance from varying degrees of unemployment, low education and literacy levels.

Resistance from mujahedeen was more formidable after getting support of the CIA covertly arming them during that war, meaning that the Soviets were fighting a country that was being greatly helped by another empire. Billions of dollars were used to train this insurgency in the name of foreign policy but living all of this resources in the hands of militia warlords. Mujahedeen was a loose coalition more than a unified group. Alongside the Islamist factions, there were groups led by leftists purged by the ruling government. The only thing they all had in common was opposition to the increasingly oppressive government.

The mujahedeen waged a guerrilla style war against Soviet forces for several years, until it exhausted the invaders militarily and politically. That and international pressure brought the Soviet Union to the negotiating table. After which the soviet withdrew and chaos reigned. Within three years, the new government collapsed and the old mujahedeen commanders turned into warlords with different factions in different regions, increasingly turning on one another.

Taliban emerged from camps in Pakistan which later fought the mujahedeen. They taught in fundamental schools and had a strict interpretation of the law such as restrictions on women and the banning of music. Taliban will later be accepted for selling the ideology they were coming to make a change, they recruited to its ranks from local people. The Taliban’s initial message of security and stability was an alternative to the chaos. Later on they would give refuge to Al-Qaida which its main aim was to kick out foreigners from Islamic states.

Radical Islam came to visit!!

It this time we saw the rise of Al-Qaeda merged with a number of other militant Islamist organizations, including Egypt’s Islamic jihad and the Islamic Group, and on several occasions its leaders declared holy war. The Muslim brotherhood and other proxies came to be known the Hezbollah, Houthis, Hamas, Alshaabi and ISIS.

Taliban was where terrorism was brewed and we see it even to date by the group curtailing some of the human freedoms and orchestrating crimes against humanity.

At the core of extremist ideology is a narrative of “us versus them”. Some individuals think they are superior to others or that they are being victimized as we see with AL Qaeda teaching that Islam is under attack. These ideas have been used to breed fear and incite people to take action.

The ideology has mutated in unpredictable ways especially with the advent of digital culture. Extreme channels have grown to big numbers as the algorithm of some of the social networks give them the visibility that they need to conduct massive recruitment and radicalization. What motivates us and catches our attention has not changed from few hundred years ago when we used to like to watch bloody fights between gladiators. We like radical bloody content and listening to conspiracy theorists.

“Do Jihad till your last breath”.. The Rise Of Terrorism; an African Perspective. By Alfred Kinoti

MIGS Global Consulting Pvt Ltd. is honoured

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